Sightseeing on Kauai Island Hawaii

Sightseeing on Kauai Island, Hawaii

Today we start out early while it is cool to embark on sightseeing on Kauai Island, Hawaii – part of the USA. We understand just how disappointing it is to have a very bad family travel experience. So, as luxury travel experts, our hope is that today’s single parent travel adventure will be as interesting as we picture it to be.

We are off driving in the USA

Since there is only one main road around the island, it is an easy drive for me unless I am turning across traffic, or doing a U-turn etc.

rainbow
©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason enjoys his cool refreshment

Koloa Town

We visit historic Koloa town down south first on Kauai Island. As it is early there are only a couple of shops open. There is a free museum open-air display near the old bridge that is worth a look when sightseeing on Kauai Island.

petrol pump
©Exploramum and Explorason – old petrol pump

Coffee

I need a cup of coffee and my son wants to see how they make their famous Shaved Ice. We find a shop that makes sugar free ones. He has been on a health kick and will only eat “healthy foods”. I have to twist his arm to even have an ice-cream. He used to be a bit ‘cuddly’, but has slimmed right down, and is exercise crazy too. But right now, he enjoys this (and I don’t mention how the artificial coloring might not be so healthy!).

Shaved Ice
©Exploramum and Explorason – Shaved Ice

Sun Kissed

I think he looks quite tanned in this photo and quite like the little vacation boy he has become!

Tree Tunnel

We head back through the Tree Tunnel to Kahali Mountain Park. This is a fun thing to do when sightseeing on Kauai Island.

Tip:

You will discover that it is so nice taking a photo on the way into Koloa, than on the way out.

driving around Hawaiian islands
©Exploramum and Explorason – beautiful drive

Spouting Horn

We then take a left, further south to the Spouting Horn a place you will want to visit when sightseeing on Kauai Island. There are two blowholes, made by tunnels under the volcanic rock. We learn that the farmers used to grow sugar cane, right up to the coast, and in the 1920’s, the larger one was given some dynamite and blown up so the spray would not affect the crops. This is a real shame. Makes us aware of how ‘man’ can ruin ‘wonders of nature’.

blowhole
©Exploramum and Explorason – blowhole

Hanapepe Lookout

We take a further drive eastwards but turn around once we get to Hanapepe Look-out, as it is red-orange soil and barren. Kauai is known as the rainy island, but alas it is experiencing drought right now and really needs rain. And is surprisingly dry and easy to visit when sightseeing on Kauai Island.

Coffee Plantation

We stop on the side of the road at the coffee plantation. We have seen coffee growing on bushes on Oahu and couldn’t stop. So we enjoy the break and take time to see how it grows. I have found some lovely coffee in the shops here. And I have discovered Starbucks make really awful coffee sometimes compared to something like barista-made Italian coffee we are spoilt within Australia. What is nice about them is the free WiFi they offer.

Hawaiian coffee
©Exploramum and Explorason – Hawaiian coffee

Fantasy Island

A must see is Wailua Falls. These are used in the old TV series Fantasy Island. Remember “Da plane, boss. Da plane”?

To reach them, take Hwy. 56 to Hanama’ulu to Hwy 583 (Ma’alo Road). This is a country road through sugar cane fields, and barely wide enough if you meet oncoming traffic.  It is a pretty drive. Follow this road about 6 miles to the end.

You can no longer climb down to the falls, but the view from the road is still worth the trip when sightseeing on Kauai Island.

Fantasy Island
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wailua Falls AKA Fantasy Island

Back At The Hotel

We head back to the hotel for a swim and a rest. Traveling with a child means you need some ‘downtime’ when sightseeing on Kauai Island. They need rest, the odd afternoon nap, and just time to have a swim or watch some TV or read. It is a nightmare if you try to pack your days full of exploration.

Start Early

I have found it way better to start out early when sightseeing on Kauai Island. It is cool and there is less traffic and queues are not so long. Then I make sure we are back by latest 4 pm, so there is time for a swim or a rest before dinner plans (even if dinner is made by me in the room).

Hawaiian Luau – Smith Luau

Tonight we have booked the Smith Garden Luau. You have to book a few days in advance, as it is a quality dinner and show.

Included in the price is all the food you can eat, and all the drinks. Since they include a free coach pick-up, I take that option so that I can be more relaxed and enjoy the night.

We arrive, and are presented with a shell necklace and then we are taken by road train around the gardens. Most people have made an effort to dress “Hawaiian style”, and it feels like a giant wedding celebration – but there is no bride!

Anyway – back to the ride in the gardens – they are just gorgeous and we are told all about the plants, and how this garden was made over 50 years ago. It is a Smith tradition and despite the name not sounding Hawaiian, it surely is a very Hawaiian night!

Luau
©Exploramum and Explorason – heading off to our Luau

We enjoy the Japanese Island and have a good wander around prior to dinner, and the unearthing of the cooked pig.

Japanese Bridge
©Exploramum and Explorason – Japanese Bridge

My son enjoys this giant statue.  He pretends to pick his nose!  Boys will be boys!! The whole night incorporates many regions of the Pacific, including this representing Easter Island.

Can A Kid Pick His Nose?

Easter Island
©Exploramum and Explorason – Easter Island theme?

Sunset

As the sun sets over the palms we head for the cocktail bar, which is included as our welcome drink.

sunset
©Exploramum and Explorason – Sunset at the Luau

Luau Food

The pig is unearthed with a great ceremony. It looks pretty disgusting. But they take it and pull it off the bone in the kitchen. My son later eats it thinking it is chicken, and thoroughly enjoys it. It falls apart, it is so tender – well worth a try. I myself have the luau fish – which is just delicious – along with taro and other vegetables that have been cooked underground.

suckling pig
©Exploramum and Explorason – suckling pig

These are the guys who have worked hard unearthing the pig. We are pleased to get a photograph of them together, as there are a lot of people around the place trying to do the same thing.

Hawaiian
©Exploramum and Explorason – photograph with the staff

Hawaiian Dance

Somehow, we end up on the stage. Someone says it is “the Orstraylians” (Australians) and people with birthdays. We learn that all the hand movements represent birds, ocean, setting sun etc. It is a load of fun. One thing I have decided for this trip is that I will have no regrets. I will get up there if asked and give it a try. I will be a doer and not a spectator (well as long as there is no danger in what I am asked to do).

learning to dance
©Exploramum and Explorason – learning to dance

After Dinner Show

After dinner, we all move to the amphitheater. There is a fabulous show with dancers, a dragon, island Polynesian culture, history and more. We are late finishing our dinner, but manage to get a seat right at the front.

Tip:

If you find yourself here, there is a great spot at the sides (side seating area). The dancers come in and out through that point, which makes it a great viewing spot.  Way better than the general seating area I think.

After Dinner Show
©Exploramum and Explorason – After Dinner Show

The Hawaiian dancers are just gorgeous. There are fire dancers, a volcano which lights up and much more. The whole night is very educational. It is a quality event.

Smith Luau
©Exploramum and Explorason – Smith Luau

Leaving Mid-Show

As we sit by the side (where the dancers come in and go out), we manage to get a photo with them all at the end.  I was really disappointed that half the crowd got up to go in the final act.

They dash to get out before the crowds block up the car park. It makes it hard to see the finale with so many walking in front of you.

I thought it was really rude. Why be in such a hurry when traveling?

Hawaiian costume
©Exploramum and Explorason – Hawaiian costume

Tip:

As soon as you arrive, go and reserve a dinner seat. Open the cloth napkin, and lay the mug on it. If in doubt, “Grandma Smith” is there to give you a hand on etiquette. (Or bring a jacket or similar to place there).

The best place to sit is on the far side towards the amphitheater. These tables go first for food, so you have more time to go back for seconds. The whole night is pretty jam-packed with things to do. If you do drive there, go early as you have more time to see the stunning peacocks and birds in the gardens.

This has been a pretty full-on day. I am full of the wonderful desserts – I confess I had 3 serves of coconut pie! We enjoy the bus ride back, and sit with our new friends, and enjoy the evening breeze outside our room with a nightcap.

Most folks on vacation are so friendly, as are Barry and Cheryl our new friends from South Carolina.  when they leave Barry brings me flowers – I will never forget his kindness and something a single Mum rarely gets.

We have found Kauai more relaxing that Waikiki – which was filled with city lights and action-packed days.  This is an island to wind down and enjoy nature.
Both are great though, and we will be heading back to Waikiki soon for a few days of fun and sun.  Sightseeing on Kauai Island has been a lot of fun and so glad we rented a car to do so.
Questions and Comments
  • Have you ever been on a sightseeing trip at the Kauai island in Hawaii?
  • What did you enjoy most?
  • Please share your comments with us below.

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